Interview with the Little London Observationist Stephanie Sadler as she prepares for her first solo show
You know you’re in Chelsea when the locals are quaffing Oysters at the local market. The Chelsea Farmers Market on a Saturday is a foodies favourite and just round the corner from the famous Saatchi Gallery where I’ve arranged to meet London blogger and soon to be solo exhibitionist Stephanie Sadler.
Steph is a social media strategist. Blogging in a personal capacity since 2002, her popular award winning London based blog, The Little London Observationist, has been an internet surfers favourite since 2009. As an American expat from New York, Stephanie gives a unique take on the city which she has called home for many years, observing happenings from one never sleeping city to another.
Now her social media skills have taken her into a new direction. Over the years she has documented the life of London and other cities, resulting in a unique resource packed full of the colours of everyday life. It’s led to her first solo exhibition of photographs which will soon be hanging on the walls of Chelsea’s Chance Gallery.
Funded by Kickstarter, the crowd sourcing website has enabled her to fully finance the show with contributions from a number of large and small backers all eager to play a part in creation of the event. As an experiment in the power of social media it seems to have worked and as Steph explains “it’s an interesting new world where everybody helps to promote everybody else”. Such is the power it would seem of the world wide web.
Steph has been at the forefront of social media now for over a decade. Starting originally with a personal blog created in order to share experiences with family and friends she has since branched out with the ‘Little London Observationist‘ becoming a must read. On the title, Steph explains “it was based on an Andy Warhol quote. I saw on a friends tattoo and it really inspired me to go out and look at London in a different way”. The quote was “you need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you”. According to Steph it became a case of searching out the little things that tourists don’t normally look for.
And it’s the little things that have provided the basis for her first solo exhibition ‘Little City Observations’ “it’s basically a compilation of observations of city life mostly in London but also from other cities from around the world over the last few years” says Steph. Hosted at the Chance Gallery in Chelsea, the show represents one of the penultimate in the gallery before it gets converted into retail space.
As for inspiration, the East End is somewhere she goes back to again and again “it’s quirky, it’s eccentric, it’s like a whole different world” enthuses Steph. “It’s colourful, it’s diverse and there’s always something to look at, the walls are always changing, the people, the fashion, there’s always something going on that’s different from the rest of the city.” Indeed a number of Steph’s images from the show have been shot around the East End. One of her favourites, a wall from MadC on Chance Street features two young women taking part in a photo shoot. It’s an image which conjures up a story “maybe ones a fashion designer and ones a blogger and their helping each other out. It’s something you see a lot of in the East End.”
Finally it strikes me that it’s normally Steph who asks the questions, is it strange being on the other end of the interview? “It’s really freaking awkward” she replies and laughs. Maybe it’s something she needs to get used to, the beginning perhaps of a life on the other side of the blog.
The show contains photography from places around London and other cities around the world. Here is a selection of some of the images on show.
Stephanie Sadler was interviewed in Chelsea on Saturday 9th November 2013. Her first solo photography exhibition runs at the Chance Gallery from 11-17 November. Her blogs ‘The Little London Observationist‘ and ‘Little Observationist’ document the life of the city of London and other inspiring places.
For links to Stephanie’s blogs and other more information about ‘Little City Observations’ try the following links: